Bird Watching in the Sani Wetlands!
An education program with the Elementary school of Fourka-Kassandrinou.
Protecting the Sani Wetlands
The Sani company has undertaken an important environmental initiative – studying and protecting the birdlife of the Sani wetlands. The Sani wetlands is a large expanse of land, 110 hectares, that is located next to the Sani luxury hotels in Greece, home to over 200 species of birds, many of them rare and endangered. The man in charge of this project, which lasted for over a year and was funded by the company, is environmentalist and forestry expert Lefteris Kakalis, who brings great expertise and enthusiasm to the task of protecting this remarkable habitat. The objective was to plan and implement a monitoring programme for the birds and their habitats in the area’s wetlands, which involves producing a systematic inventory of wild bird populations, setting up a database of birds and determining the priority species (protected and rare species). The aim was also to describe the threats to the most important bird species and decide on the necessary protective measures. The project and Mr. Kakalis’s work is overseen by Mr. Akriotis, professor at the University of the Aegean, who is the leading ornithologist in Greece. Mr. Kakalis has recorded the progress of his study, month by month, in the blog below. The first phase of the study has now been concluded. The results confirmed the high biodiversity found in the area, and its great value and importance in this respect. The total number of species recorded was 214. From these, the species that are included in the most recent Red List of Threatened Species of Greece are 67 or 31% of the total number recorded in the Sani wetlands. Out of these, four are characterised as critically endangered: the glossy ibis, graylag goose, corn bunting and the montagu’s harrier. Seven are characterised as endangered, and those are the bittern, purple heron, black stork, greater spotted eagle, Mediterranean gull, whiskered tern and the black tern. Lastly, in the category of the vulnerable, twenty three species are included, or 11% of the total species. In total, 34 species, or 16% of species recorded in the Sani Wetlands are included in the three most important categories of the Red List. At the same time, 93 species fall into the three most important protection categories on a European level (SPEC), as defined by Birdlife International. With the help of the experts, our company will further invest in ensuring programmes are carried out in order to protect this invaluable biodiversity and ensure we can admire it for years to come. On your next visit to luxury Sani resort in Greece, you can ask for detailed maps with suggested walks in the wetlands, so that you too, like our experts, can admire the birds. Indigenous populations, passerines, migrating birds, sea birds, raptors – the wetland is full of an amazing wealth of birdlife, that will be sure to take your breath away.
About Lefteris Kakalis
Lefteris Kakalis is a doctoral candidate in environmental and ecological studies at the University of the Aegean, who has already completed postgraduate studies in environmental policy and management. He has worked in a number of European programmes, as well as national research programmes involving the protection of birds in Greece. He specializes in ornithological studies, in the planning and implementation of monitoring schemes and the ecology of bird populations. He is a member of the Greek Ornithological Society and the Greek Centre for Bird Ringing. Overseeing his work is Mr. Akriotis, professor at the University of the Aegean and founding member of the Greek Ornithological Society (the Greek partner of Birdlife International).